Recent headlines in the national media about fostering run the risk of painting a negative picture of foster caring.
When a troubled young person falls into the justice system, the implication is sometimes made that fostering could be part of the cause.
What is forgotten is that these young people have often already suffered trauma or been at risk of harm – which is precisely why they need fostering.
Foster children are vulnerable, and can be challenging, but with the right support they can have fulfilling and very positive futures.
However, nationwide there are 81,000 children in care and not enough foster carers to look after them.
Without enough loving homes these children risk being moved around.
Barnardo’s recruits foster carers for teenagers, disabled children, siblings and children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds.
But we urgently need more to come forward.
We view our relationship with our carers as a partnership, offering continued support, training and advice for as long as it is needed.
Our foster carers are amazing people.
They open up their hearts and homes to children who have often had a tough start in life.
We see first-hand how the support of a stable, caring family really can transform children’s lives.
Barnardo’s Operations Manager for Fostering, Barnardo’s East Region